"The Rise and Fall of Welfare Health Legislation in 20th Century Chile: A Case Study in Political Economy of Law"
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This dissertation analyzes the economic and political dynamics of health legislation in Chile throughout the 20th century. Law is understood as a process, in which legislation is the consequence of the political interaction between different stakeholders within a specific socio-economic and political reality. Law thus performs as a function of its political dynamics. This case study discusses lawmaking in its multifaceted character fulfilling different roles, understanding health legislation in Chile as the expression of how society articulates and represents different interests and how health reforms are determined by the influence and capabilities of interest groups. The legal framework is situated within a broader national social, economic and political context, mediated by international influences and the strategic role assumed by the state. Empirically, the dissertation analyzes how economic and political variables have shaped different legal transformations in a country that has experienced significant, paradigmatic changes in health law, moving from a basically charitable system, inherited from the Spanish colonial power, to a strong and profoundly European welfare system—the second oldest national health service in the world—to a radical neo/liberal market model introduced in the late 1970s, and finally, towards a mixed public-private system, still present.